A paper published in GSA Today, Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent, by Nick Mortimer and colleagues, including EarthByte’s Dr Maria Seton, has gone viral over the last few days. In the paper, researchers have for the first time clearly defined Zealandia, a continent that includes New Zealand, New Caledonia, and the Lord Howe and Norfold Islands, that is today 94% submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. According to GSA Today’s editors, the article is “by a long shot” their most downloaded article ever. Picked up by hundreds of media outlets worldwide, the findings of the paper has reached an estimated 720 million readers!
Matthews, K.J., Maloney, K.T., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Seton, M., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Global plate boundary evolution and kinematics since the late Paleozoic, Global and Planetary Change, 146, 226-250. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.10.002
Many aspects of deep-time Earth System models, including mantle convection, paleoclimatology, paleobiogeography and the deep Earth carbon cycle, require high-resolution plate models that include the evolution of the mosaic of plate boundaries through time. We present the first continuous late Paleozoic to present-day global plate model with evolving plate boundaries, building on and extending two previously published models for the late Paleozoic (410–250 Ma) and Mesozoic-Cenozoic (230–0 Ma). We ensure continuity during the 250–230 Ma transition period between the two models, update the absolute reference frame of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic model and add a new Paleozoic reconstruction for the Baltica-derived Alexander Terrane, now accreted to western North America. This 410–0 Ma open access model provides a framework for deep-time whole Earth modelling and acts as a base for future extensions and refinement.
Zahirovic, S., Flament, N., Müller, R.D., Seton, M., and Gurnis, M. (2016). Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi:10.1002/2016GC006434 Large fluctuations of shallow seas in low-lying Southeast Asia driven by mantle flow
Welcome back to the geoscience crew from the ECOSAT II voyage on the RV Investigator! After braving close to 10 meter high waves and over 50 knot winds on their approach into Hobart, the team made it back safely with an impressive haul of rocks, geophysical data and the experience of a lifetime. … Read more…
Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J., & Cannon, J. (2016). Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events Since Pangea Breakup. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 44 (1): 107–138. doi:10.1146/annurev-earth-060115-012211 Ocean Basin Evolution and Global-Scale Plate Reorganization Events … Read more…
Plate tectonics drives earthquakes and volcanism, forms precious mineral deposits and controls the planet’s long-term carbon cycle. But why do we have just a few large plates, and many tiny plates? Does it matter? These questions have now been answered in a French-Swiss-Australian collaborative paper led by PhD student Claire Mallard at the Univ. Lyon, published on 15 June 2016 in the journal Nature. The paper includes Nicolas Coltice (Lyon), EarthByters Dietmar Müller and Maria Seton, and Paul Tackley (ETH).
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Hosseinpour, M., Williams, S., Seton, M., Barnett-Moore, N., and Müller, R.D. (2016). Tectonic evolution of Western Tethys from Jurassic to present day: coupling geological and geophysical data with seismic tomography models. International Geology Review 58 (13): 1616–1645. doi:10.1080/00206814.2016.1183146 Tectonic evolution of Western Tethys from Jurassic to present day: coupling geological and geophysical data with seismic … Read more…
Müller, R. D., Qin, X., Sandwell, D. T., Dutkiewicz, A., Williams, S. E., Flament, N., Maus, S., & Seton, M. (2016). The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data in a Web Browser. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0150883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150883 The GPlates Portal: Cloud-Based Interactive 3D Visualization of Global Geophysical and Geological Data … Read more…
Wright, N. M., Seton, M., Williams, S. E., & Müller, R. D. (2016). The Late Cretaceous to recent tectonic history of the Pacific Ocean basin. Earth-Science Reviews, 154, 138–173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.11.015 The Late Cretaceous to recent tectonic history of the Pacific Ocean basin
The recent article on the GPlates Portal published in PLOS ONE by Prof Dietmar Müller, Xiaodong Qin, Prof David Sandwell, Dr Adriana Dutkiewicz, Dr Simon Williams, Dr Nicolas Flament, Dr Stefan Maus, and Dr Maria Seton, has received significant international media attention over the past week, featuring in articles from Australia, UK, US, India, and UAE!
See the list of online media below, and check out the interactive globes yourself!
Müller, R.D., Seton, M., Zahirovic, S., Williams, S.E., Matthews, K.J., Wright, N.M., Shephard, G.E., Maloney, K.T., Barnett-Moore, N., Hosseinpour, M., Bower, D.J., Cannon, J., 2016. Ocean basin evolution and global-scale plate reorganization events since Pangea breakup, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, in press.
We present a revised global plate motion model with continuously closing plate boundaries ranging from the Triassic at 230 Ma to the present day, assess differences between alternative absolute plate motion models, and review global tectonic events. Relatively high mean absolute plate motion rates around 9–10 cm yr-1 between 140 and 120 Ma may be related to transient plate motion accelerations driven by the successive emplacement of a sequence of large igneous provinces during that time. … Read more…
- Future Fellowship of Maria Seton on “Oceanic gateways: a primary control on global climate change?”
- Basin GENESIS Hub activities, related to the effect of the mantle, crustal deformation, erosion and sedimentary processes on sedimentary basins
- ATOM – a coupled atmospheric-ocean circulation code jointly developed by Prof. Roger Grundmann and EarthByte.
EarthByte’s expertise in tectonics, geodynamics and surface process modeling is enhanced by close collaborations with leading palaeoclimate modellers and geochemical oceanographers. … Read more…
An EarthByte plate tectonic animation has recently been added to NOAA’s Science on a Sphere database. NOAA produces large interactive 3D spherical projection systems that are installed at museums, universities, schools and other institutes across the world (see Science On a Sphere map locations). The EarthByte animation is from the recent Gibbons et al. (2015) … Read more…
Müller, R. D., & Seton, M. (2014). Plate Motion. In J. Harff, M. Meschede, S. Petersen & J. Thiede (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences (pp. 1-10): Springer Netherlands. Plate Motion
Müller, R. D., & Seton, M. (2015). Paleophysiography of Ocean Basins. In J. Harff, M. Meschede, S. Petersen & J. Thiede (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences (pp. 1-15): Springer Netherlands. Paleophysiography of Ocean Basins
A global animation accompanying the publication Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200 Ma. Citation Seton, M., et al. (2012), Global continental and ocean basin reconstructions since 200 Ma, Earth-Science Reviews, 113(3-4), 212-270. doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2012.03.002. View the full playlist on our EarthByte YouTube channel
Reconstructions of tectonic plates and oceanic paleodepth (i.e. paleobathymetry). Citation Müller, R., M. Sdrolias, C. Gaina, and W. Roest (2008). Age, spreading rates, and spreading asymmetry of the world’s ocean crust, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9(4), 19, Q04006. doi: 10.1029/2007GC001743. View the full playlist on our EarthByte YouTube channel
Whittaker, J. M., Afonso, J. C., Masterton, S., Müller, R. D., Wessel, P., Williams, S. E., & Seton, M. (2015). Long-term interaction between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes. Nature Geoscience, 8(6), 479-483. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2437. Long-term interaction between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes Download supplementary materials – zip file
Whittaker, J. M., Afonso, J. C., Masterton, S., Müller, R. D., Wessel, P., Williams, S. E., & Seton, M. (2015). Long-term interaction between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes. Nature Geoscience, 8(6), 479-483.
Plate tectonic motions are commonly considered to be driven by slab pull at subduction zones and ridge push at mid-ocean ridges, with motion punctuated by plumes of hot material rising from the lower mantle. Within this model, the geometry and location of mid-ocean ridges are considered to be independent of lower-mantle dynamics, such as deeply sourced plumes that produce voluminous lava eruptions-termed large igneous provinces. Here we use a global plate model to reconstruct the locations of large igneous provinces relative to plumes and mid-ocean ridges at the time they formed. … Read more…
Date: 2015 April 7-10 Venue: The University of Sydney Description: A science meeting at the University of Sydney was held to discuss details of the seven science themes in the Geoscience Australia (GA) – Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) initiated Lord Howe Rise IODP Pre-proposal, IODP proposal 871-Pre. The purpose of the meeting was to look … Read more…
Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Seton, M., & Flament, N. (2015). Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 418, 40-52. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.037.
The motion of plates and continents on the planet’s surface are a manifestation of long-term mantle convection and plate tectonics. Present-day plate velocities provide a snapshot of this ongoing process, and have been used to infer controlling factors on the speeds of plates and continents. However, present-day velocities do not capture plate behaviour over geologically representative periods of time. To address this shortcoming, we use a plate tectonic reconstruction approach to extract time-dependent plate velocities and geometries from which root mean square (RMS) velocities are computed, resulting in a median RMS plate speed of ~4 cm/yr over 200 Myr. … Read more…
EarthByte paper ‘Revision of Paleogene plate motions in the Pacific and implications for the Hawaiian-Emperor bend‘ is featured in ScienceNews with an article entitled ‘Plate loss gave chain of Pacific islands and seamounts a bend‘. Revision of Paleogene plate motions in the Pacific and implications for the Hawaiian-Emperor bend
This animation portrays the motion of continents (grey, yellow, orange and red) and oceanic plates (blue) since Pangea breakup from 200 million years ago. The model is a modified version of the Seton et al. Citation Zahirovic, S., R. Müller, M. Seton, and N. Flament (2015), Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions, Earth and … Read more…
Seton, M., Flament, N., Whittaker, J., Müller, R. D., Gurnis, M., & Bower, D. J. (2015). Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate‐mantle system 60–50 million years ago. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(6), 1732-1740. doi: 10.1002/2015GL063057. Ridge subduction sparked reorganization of the Pacific plate‐mantle system 60–50 million years ago
Wright, N. M., Müller, R. D., Seton, M., & Williams, S. E. (2015). Revision of Paleogene plate motions in the Pacific and implications for the Hawaiian-Emperor bend. Geology, 43(5), 455-458. doi: 10.1130/G36303.1. Revision of Paleogene plate motions in the Pacific and implications for the Hawaiian-Emperor bend
Dr Maria Seton and Dr Simon Williams from the School of Geosciences and colleagues from GNS Science and the Geological Survey of New Caledonia were awarded ship time on Australia’s new, state-of-the-art research vessel, the RV Investigator. The supplementary voyage, with Dr Seton as Chief Scientist, will investigate the continuity of Australian terranes into Zealandia … Read more…
We present four companion digital models of the age, age uncertainty, spreading rates and spreading asymmetries of the world’s ocean basins as geographic and Mercator grids with 2 minute resolution. The grids include data from all the major ocean basins as well as detailed reconstructions of back-arc basins.
The age, spreading rate and asymmetry at each grid node is determined by linear interpolation between adjacent seafloor isochrons in the direction of spreading. Ages for ocean floor between the oldest identified magnetic anomalies and continental crust are interpolated by geological estimates of the ages of passive continental margin segments. … Read more…
Zahirovic, S., Müller, R. D., Seton, M., & Flament, N. (2015). Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 418, 40-52. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.02.037. Tectonic speed limits from plate kinematic reconstructions
Carmen Braz is undertaking a 6 week summer scholarship with Maria Seton and Dietmar Müller. She will be implementing a new plate tectonic model for the Caribbean.